Free State Travel and Tours is making serious inroads into a sector previously dominated by white owned and managed companies, winning serious long term contracts with big spending government departments and private companies. The company also reported a staggering 300% increase in revenues after Seda interventions.
The business came into being in 2006 with the objective of offering professional travel services to corporate and leisure travellers in the Free State. Its founder, Mr Ntoko Moeletsi realised that the lack or limited number of black owned and managed companies in the tourism sector which offered a space for new entrants into the market. In 2008, 2 new shareholders joined the business. Free State Travel and Tours offers travel management services that include route/trip planning, booking, organising and travel document arrangements. Its accreditation include the Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The company’s turn around started with Seda’s involvement in the last few years. In the first instance, Seda was apparoched to assist with funding assistance to invest in the business. The investment was required to acquire new vehicles, to expand into other provinces and running costs.
Seda undertook a thorough assessment of the business afterwhich the following interventions were suggested and implemented:
Review of the company’s business plan as part of preparing for funding requests
A formal integrated financial management system was introduced §§ Installation of HR software and HR pocedures and systems
Redesigning of the website and introduction of pastel system
A new sign was introduced for the new corporate offices, and a new website was developed to enable online interaction with clients. To grow the company further, Seda focused its attention on the development of a business plan which would clearly demonstrate future growth to potential funders, therefore enable funding.
With a more streamlined operation, Free State Travel and Tours was able to start growing the business and secure more long term business with various provincial departments. Its annual revenue has grown from around R2,7 million to R11,5 million.
The company has also managed to create more job opportunities with about 12 people employed full time in the business today compared to 8 before Seda was engaged. Free State Travel and Tours is surely going places.